Author Topic: The Trump Presidency  (Read 144801 times)

Online Zakalwe

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2025 on: January 22, 2021, 05:22:05 AM »

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A lot of relatively affluent white people are about to be introduced to the uglier side of the American criminal justice system, and they aren’t going to understand.

Not only will it be shock because they think they're innocent, but probably also a shocking discovery that the wholesome, brave image that law enforcement wants to portray in general largely vanishes when you are accused and convicted of a crime and being dealt with by them.  Yes, Trumpsquatch finally got his organic num-nums.  But I agree a large number of other people are going to realize they really aren't as special as they thought they were, and that what those other folks were saying about police misconduct wasn't as farfetched as it sounded at first.

But on the plus side, there is the potential for meaningful police reform if someone other than the BLM community registers complaints for the same alleged behavior.


It must be quite the feeling of watching guys wearing FBI jackets walking up the drive of your nice twin-garage, 5 bedroom suburban house that's located in the nice (read "white") part of town ....

https://news4sanantonio.com/news/local/fbi-agents-raided-home-in-stone-oak-arrest-made?video=4363bf09-030b-4042-b888-65c08e960662&jwsource=cl

Add in the sinking feeling of realisation when they cart you away in handcuffs that your whole life is about to dramatically change for the worse forever, just because you were dumb enough to buy into a load of Facebook memes.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2026 on: January 22, 2021, 01:05:29 PM »
There's evidence that local and state police in various parts of the United States have been infiltrated by white nationalists, racists, and other unsavory elements.  And there is evidence that the police unions that supply officers to these departments are corrupt in any of several ways.

Not so at the FBI.  It takes far more education and training to be an FBI field officer.  There is far more invasive screening of candidates.  (In fact, it's the FBI who investigated and uncovered the corruption and misconduct in local police forces.)  The FBI doesn't care that you're wealthy, white, and aligned with "blue lives" interests.  In this case, all they care about is that you participated in a riot in which a federal officer was killed.  On the flip side, it means they're not going to take any subject -- black or white, wealthy or poor -- into a back alley and beat him to death.  The problem that BLM organizations have is that affluent white people can't believe that local police treat people differently depending on these factors.  This is because their ordinary interaction with law enforcement is often preferentially cordial.  It takes cases like this where you're seen only as "criminal suspect" to provide evidence that local police may be the ones affording privilege.
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Offline molesworth

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2027 on: January 23, 2021, 10:55:13 AM »
The more that comes out about the attack on the Capitol, the more it sounds like there was a serious and organised attempt to harm or kill legislators.  Some of the information here is very worrying :

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/conspiracy-oath-keeper-arrest-capitol-riot/2021/01/19/fb84877a-5a4f-11eb-8bcf-3877871c819d_story.html

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Self-styled militia members from Virginia, Ohio and other states made plans to storm the U.S. Capitol days in advance of the Jan. 6 attack, and then communicated in real time as they breached the building on opposite sides and talked about hunting for lawmakers, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

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“We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan,” co-defendant Jessica Watkins, 38, an Army veteran, said while the breach was underway, according to court documents.

“You are executing citizen’s arrest. Arrest this assembly, we have probable cause for acts of treason, election fraud,” a man replied, according to audio recordings of communications between Watkins and others during the incursion.

And possibly most disturbing, given the reference :

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Some messages, according to the FBI, included, “Tom all legislators are down in the Tunnels 3floors down,” and “Go through back house chamber doors facing N left down hallway down steps.” Another message read: “All members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas,” the FBI added.

From what I understand, there are still a lot of these so-called "militia" groups around, and I doubt we've seen the last of their attempts to disrupt the new administration.
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Online Zakalwe

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2028 on: January 23, 2021, 12:25:02 PM »
The more that comes out about the attack on the Capitol, the more it sounds like there was a serious and organised attempt to harm or kill legislators.  Some of the information here is very worrying :

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/conspiracy-oath-keeper-arrest-capitol-riot/2021/01/19/fb84877a-5a4f-11eb-8bcf-3877871c819d_story.html

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Self-styled militia members from Virginia, Ohio and other states made plans to storm the U.S. Capitol days in advance of the Jan. 6 attack, and then communicated in real time as they breached the building on opposite sides and talked about hunting for lawmakers, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

Quote
“We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan,” co-defendant Jessica Watkins, 38, an Army veteran, said while the breach was underway, according to court documents.

“You are executing citizen’s arrest. Arrest this assembly, we have probable cause for acts of treason, election fraud,” a man replied, according to audio recordings of communications between Watkins and others during the incursion.

And possibly most disturbing, given the reference :

Quote
Some messages, according to the FBI, included, “Tom all legislators are down in the Tunnels 3floors down,” and “Go through back house chamber doors facing N left down hallway down steps.” Another message read: “All members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas,” the FBI added.

From what I understand, there are still a lot of these so-called "militia" groups around, and I doubt we've seen the last of their attempts to disrupt the new administration.

Not only that, but there's also an active investigation into whether some Republican senators actually provided an unauthorised tour of the building prior to the rioting and attempted coup.
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/15/us/impeachment-trump#the-capitol-police-are-investigating-whether-lawmakers-gave-pre-riot-building-tours-as-pelosi-names-leader-of-security-review
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Offline Peter B

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2029 on: January 28, 2021, 08:10:48 AM »
[snip]

There's an interesting sub-Reddit going on at the moment: https://www.reddit.com/r/byebyejob/ Lots of very well paid people suddenly finding themselves out of very good jobs. So far I've spotted a lawyer, a CEO, our absent-minded friend above and a woman outed by her daughter. Schadenfreude and karma appears to be a real thing!

I've taken to visiting it once a week or so to see what new rewards for silliness have been made...

Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2030 on: January 29, 2021, 05:57:40 AM »
It’s amazing the lack of self-awareness some of these conspiracy theorists have. I’m in the middle of a Twitter row with one who honestly thinks a ballot-counting machine is just a big dumb brick that looks for a mark on a piece of paper. The fact he tweeted from a device that can do better scanning and checking than that seems to have escaped him. Now I admit I don’t know exactly how those machines work but intuitively I have the feeling they’d have a bit more sophisticated workings than just looking for a dark mark somewhere. Like barcode checksum digits on the ballot papers maybe?
"There's this idea that everyone's opinion is equally valid. My arse! Bloke who was a professor of dentistry for forty years does NOT have a debate with some eejit who removes his teeth with string and a door!"  - Dara O'Briain

Offline jfb

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2031 on: January 29, 2021, 06:43:43 AM »
It’s amazing the lack of self-awareness some of these conspiracy theorists have. I’m in the middle of a Twitter row with one who honestly thinks a ballot-counting machine is just a big dumb brick that looks for a mark on a piece of paper. The fact he tweeted from a device that can do better scanning and checking than that seems to have escaped him. Now I admit I don’t know exactly how those machines work but intuitively I have the feeling they’d have a bit more sophisticated workings than just looking for a dark mark somewhere. Like barcode checksum digits on the ballot papers maybe?

The machines we’ve used for the last couple of elections have an electronic interface (you spin a dial and press a button to cast a vote); when you’re done they print out a paper ballot that has a barcode representation of your votes across the top, with a human-readable summary of the votes below.  The tabulating system reads the barcode, but the human-readable portion makes hand recounts and audits easier. 

There’s still room for shenanigans - I have no way of knowing the barcode is an accurate representation of my votes.  Audits and recounts should catch that, but if they’re not done for whatever reason, there will be room for doubt.

I would still prefer a paper ballot that I mark myself.  Yes, they have their own problems, but when we did that I never had reason to believe my vote was being miscast (granted, when we were doing that the Republicans had not yet completely lost their goddamned minds). 

Offline gillianren

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2032 on: January 29, 2021, 10:40:34 AM »
We get a paper ballot that we fill in by hand.  Sure, I drop mine off at a drop-box, but it's exactly the same paper ballot as I'd get if I went in for in-person voting.
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Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2033 on: January 29, 2021, 10:56:40 AM »
The point, surely, is that literally every method of voting has ‘room for shenanigans’. Unless I go to a polling station and literally point to my chosen candidate in front of everyone there is always a step in the process where someone else has control of my ballot. I drop it in a box and I trust that the responsible people then deliver that ballot and count it correctly. The problem is that ugly now we are supposed to believe that appropriate measures to check the votes are properly counted have not been put in place for one system while at the same time accepting the other as above criticism.

Mr Twitter has literally just argued that the electronic ballot counting machines are so simple they’re easily fooled while the Dominion machines are so sophisticated they are... also easily fooled. 🤦‍♂️
"There's this idea that everyone's opinion is equally valid. My arse! Bloke who was a professor of dentistry for forty years does NOT have a debate with some eejit who removes his teeth with string and a door!"  - Dara O'Briain

Offline raven

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2034 on: January 29, 2021, 12:33:14 PM »
Isn't it sad that Trump's former presidency is still the one we're talking about the most?
This shit is going to ripple.

Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2035 on: January 29, 2021, 12:59:20 PM »
This is the front page of my mail-in ballot from the 2020 election.  It's okay in the U.S. and in my state to post pictures of unmarked ballots.  Some jurisdictions forbid posting pictures of marked ballots.  In-person voting is done with fully-electronic voting machines with paper printout backups.  You can see the printout scroll by, in human-readable form, as you vote.  But as I've said many times, almost all voting in Utah is by mail using the pictured ballots.

The brick that reads these sheets is fairly dumb.  You can see the registration marks along the top and side edges.  The marks along the bottom are different for every ballot front-page that I inspected.  I don't have photos, but there are also ultraviolet-revealed ink marks that seem to follow the same numerical encoding strategy as our postal codes.  I say the machine is dumb because the conversion of the filled-in circles to a digital data set is clearly optimized for high accuracy at high volume.  The matrix barcode at the top identifies the voting precinct, which determines which candidates should appear in elections for city offices.  It's the same for everyone in my neighborhood.

Clearly some established document security and tracking methods have been employed to guard against forgery.  There may be others that I'm either not familiar with or don't have the proper equipment to see them.  Obviously keeping some of them secret would be advantageous.

The reason this part of the process is allowed to be stupid is that the validation process for a ballot is stepwise.  The marked ballot is placed in a privacy sleeve, which is then inserted into the return envelope.  The voter signs the sleeve, which has his name, address, and a barcode on it which presumably identifies him and provides checksum-like verification.  A tear-off panel on the return envelope reveals the barcode and signature.  Signature and registration verification occurs with the ballot still sealed inside the return envelope.  At this point ballots may also be rejected if, for example, the ballot had been sent in error.  Signature verification is automatic, using AI software, with potential negatives reviewed by bipartisan reviewers.

A web portal exists to allow voters to check on the status of their mail-in ballots.  If the signature check fails, the county clerk affirmatively notifies the voter of this and allows a cure procedure.  You can also request a replacement ballot.

Accepted ballots are then opened, and the signature sleeves destroyed.  From this point on the ballot is effectively anonymous, although the unique markings allow such things as automated recounts, duplicate-scan rejection, and subsequent digital manipulation of the tabulated votes.  But at this point the ballot is considered authenticated, so encoding and tabulation are the remaining steps.  The scanner reads ballots and confirms the physical document-security measures.  The tabulator is a computer system that enforces authentication requirements on humans that are allowed to manipulate cast votes (e.g., reject groups subsequently deemed invalid) and data-integrity and -security constraints.  That's the part that has to be smart, and therefore the part most susceptible to tampering.  It's typically air-gapped from area networks and physically protected.
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Offline Peter B

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2036 on: January 29, 2021, 11:50:48 PM »
Isn't it sad that Trump's former presidency is still the one we're talking about the most?
This shit is going to ripple.

Yes, and if I'm reading it right, Trump is going to keep hold of the Republican party, meaning the impeachment trial is likely to fail, but hopefully the ban on holding office in the future will take effect.

I get the impression that Trump has shown Republican members of Congress how strong his hold on Republican voters is, meaning his threat to start the Patriot Party has teeth. The Republican members of Congress consequently fold as they did during Trump's Presidency because they know he can end their political careers if they don't toe his line. I therefore suspect the trial vote in the Senate will be similar to the last impeachment.

So even if Trump can't be a Presidential candidate in the future, he'll have a lot of influence in choosing the 2024 candidate.

It's interesting to contemplate how much influence he'll retain if he somehow ends up in jail.

Online Zakalwe

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2037 on: January 30, 2021, 06:07:28 AM »
The point, surely, is that literally every method of voting has ‘room for shenanigans’. Unless I go to a polling station and literally point to my chosen candidate in front of everyone there is always a step in the process where someone else has control of my ballot. I drop it in a box and I trust that the responsible people then deliver that ballot and count it correctly. The problem is that ugly now we are supposed to believe that appropriate measures to check the votes are properly counted have not been put in place for one system while at the same time accepting the other as above criticism.

Mr Twitter has literally just argued that the electronic ballot counting machines are so simple they’re easily fooled while the Dominion machines are so sophisticated they are... also easily fooled. 🤦‍♂️

It's a symptom of our "post-knowledge, my opinion is as valid as your facts" times. Trump didn't invent the tactic but he sure perfected it and weaponised it. There was a time where innocent until proven guilty was the norm. Now you can just blurt out any old nonsense and expect others to disprove it. The art is to constantly blurt out BS 5o the extent where your interlocutors have no chance of keeping up.

Sadly, vast swathes of the population has fallen for this guff. How it ever gets corrected I do not know.
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline gillianren

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2038 on: January 30, 2021, 11:11:32 AM »
Yes, and if I'm reading it right, Trump is going to keep hold of the Republican party, meaning the impeachment trial is likely to fail, but hopefully the ban on holding office in the future will take effect.

Well, he's been impeached.  (Twice.)  The question now is conviction.  I'll be honest that I'm uncertain what results the Senate is going for other than keeping him from holding office.  I fully expect him to end his days in prison in New York State, frankly; I don't expect the Senate to send him there, even if that's what they're trying for.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2039 on: January 30, 2021, 02:01:33 PM »
Isn't it sad that Trump's former presidency is still the one we're talking about the most?
This shit is going to ripple.

Indeed, as we've belabored, the Trump presidency is the symptom of a larger problem that we're now taking greater notice of.  It won't go away, and we shouldn't stop talking about it.  Separately, Trump won't go away because he loves the limelight and will take greater pains to seek it.  And we'll keep taking the bait because Trump knows it's human nature not to look away from the road accident.  Fixing American conservatism means first weaning it off of Trump.

On the other hand, I never expected to have to talk much about the Biden presidency.   I can remember a time when you got up in the morning and part of your morning ritual was not looking at your media devices in dread to see what new horrors your president and his party had unleashed on the world just in the past eight hours while you slept.  You could even go whole days without hearing the President's day-to-day.  Torrents of rage-tweets were simply not a thing.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams